Development of Curriculum for the Virginia Driver's Licensing Ceremony

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National Surface Transportation Safety Center for Excellence

In Virginia, to receive the actual driver’s license (as opposed to the temporary driving permit), both a parent and the teenage driver must appear before a family district court judge and participate in the Virginia Driver’s Licensing Ceremony. This is an opportune moment when safety information is disseminated to parents and their novice drivers. These ceremonies are written and created primarily by district court judges. While some judges have taken a great deal of time and compiled excellent information, others are unsure about the information that should be relayed. The purpose of this project was to develop a PowerPoint presentation and handout based on contemporary teen driving research and to disseminate the materials to district court judges throughout the state of Virginia for use in their licensing ceremonies. The PowerPoint presentation included the slides but also was accompanied with a script for the judges to use during the presentation. The slides and script provide parents and teens with key safety information, including the driving risks teens face, the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws in Virginia, and how to use a parent-teen driving contract as a mechanism for risk reduction and parental management.

transportation safety, teen driving, Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL)